Tuesday, 10 June 2014

NEPA Go NEPA Come



When NEPA was disbanded not a few of us shouted hosanna. We optimistically thought the new dispensation would herald an era of fresh breath in Nigeria power sector. We thought lessons have been learnt by the new Distribution Companies (DISCOS) as per the mistakes of their predecessors. With the advent of the DISCOS things have remained the same if not worse. Power outages are as frequent as ever. Outages remain a constant factor come rain or dry season. I believe due diligence was not properly undertaken by these DISCOS before the commencement of their homework before bidding for a piece of the defunct NEPA.

They now have assets which they obviously lack the knowledge of what to do with. The new power distribution companies can still be seen in town carrying ladders about, disconnection electricity to defaulting customers. If they had invested in pre paid meters their personnel would have been better allocated to other duties. The customers will also not feel shortchanged as they will be paying for electricity actually consumed instead of the current estimated bills. The backward looking concept of estimated bills should be discarded in favour of pre paid meters. This scheme will also conserve scarce power because consumers will be more prudent in their electricity usages. For examples they would not leave their houses with security lights on or over boil water etc. this will have an overall effect of conserving much needed power. People should pay for what they use for the sake of equity and fairness.

Friday, 6 June 2014

The Motor Dealer, The Buyer and The Custom Service

Imagine this scenario: you are travelling with your family in your newly acquired tokunbo car while enjoying the countryside. All of a sudden you are flagged to a stop at a Customs checkpoint. You are requested to produce the car documents which you confidently proffered. . to your utter dismay and horror the document are said not to be in order. You are told that your car was not processed legally. Despite your pleadings that your car is bought at a dealer’s forecourt it is impounded. Your journey is rudely cut short and you and your family left stranded. The above scenario plays out in one form or the other every day on our highways. Meanwhile the numbers of motor car dealers continue to increase daily. However, the argument remains that with the open display of Tokunbo cars on the dealer’s forecourts why do the Custom Service turn a blind eye only to embarrass defenseless buyers of such cars. 

Methinks the Custom Service will do well to impound these cars while they are still in the possession of such car dealers and not wait till a car is bought before swinging into a belated action. If an illegal product is being sold openly the onus lies on the concerned agency to arrest the seller and not wait till it was bought before doing the needful. Whatever the anomaly observed by the Customs it should be solved at the dealers’ and not subjecting the unwary buyer to unnecessary hassles after purchase. 

Come to think of it, what are the Customs doing in the towns instead of the International borders? If such unusual efforts and industry on the part of the Customs was put into policing our borders these cars would not have entered the country in the first place. I tried to check the papers of a car at the customs office before purchase only to be directed to the local airport where they demanded N5000 just to check the custom duty status of a car. This is not good enough. It is not encouraging people to know the status of car's duty before purchase. The appropriate authority should up to their duties.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Petrol Palava

  Petroleum Pump Price

For a while now the pump price of petrol has been hovering any where above ₦110 per litre. Surprisingly, some South-South states buy at well above ₦130. This is happening in a country where the legal pump price is pegged at ₦97 per litre. It will take some hard argument to convince anyone that the FG is not tacitly condoning the situation. This is due to the obvious lack of interest of government to call the dealers to order. The petrol dealers are given free reinto fix the price of the commodity. If the government intends to remove the petrol subsidy it should just go ahead and do so.



  A situation where station owners are feeding fat on the general population should be arrested forthwith. The problem lies with enforcement. Some people are being paid with the tax payers money to enforce compliance but choose to sit on their hands. Nowadays they don’t even bother to bark not to talk of bite. The Directorate of Petroleum Resources (DPR) saddled with enforcing regulation is a toothless bulldog as regulations are routinely flouted by the filling stations operators. This is hardly surprising since most of the personnel has strings of filling stations. It is a clique thing. most commissioners and political advisers have filling stations hence the lack of political will by the DPR to do the needful. 

Sunday, 1 June 2014

The Loot Called Security Vote

The issue of the so called security vote in the Nigeria political reality is something of an anolamy. The security vote is the money ‘allocated’ to the Governors in Nigeria whereby they are meant to use the fund to deal with the security issues that may be bedeviling their respective domain. This is all well and good if not for the fact that the governors are not meant to account for the said vote. This obvious anomaly has continued to generate much discourse in the political space. As a matter of fact security vote is an alien concept to the Nigeria constitution.
     The Nigeria constitution distributes powers and allocates responsibilities. It matches perks of office with accountabilities. It is therefore strange that a concept like security vote, where the recipient owes NO ONE any accountability, has been allowed to take root in the Nigeria body polity. The so called security vote is therefore unconstitutional, illegal, and totally immoral in all its ramifications. Where the enabling powers emanate beat me. I challenge anyone to show me where the constitution mentions anything resembling the concept of ‘security vote’. What has it been able to achieve thus far except allowing the governors to extra constitutionally stash away at least N300 million every month in private accounts. Its proponents say the fund is needed in order to keep the level of crime and criminality down. But pray, why the secrecy? If the fund is truly being used to provide security why can’t they come clean and do the needful by accounting.
   The Governors of the North Eastern states collect same every month but has it brought any actionable intelligence to combat the militants operating in that corner? The truth is that the governors see the security vote as legalized loot and as the dividend of democracy. It comes with the territory as it were. This is an area the ongoing National confab should look into in order to correct this obvious anomaly. The issue should be put up to the light of the letter and spirit of the constitution.

Meanwhile: BringBackOurGirls